Feltting Help

I am new to knitting. I made a voyagers cap. It is a long tapered stoking style cap( almost like a Santa hat).
I used 100% wool yarn in the traditional color red. Now here is my problem. I followed the instructions for felting it and it shrunk to a third of it’s original size. The instructions were to machine wash with hot water and a cold rinse. you are also to place several other peices in with it for agitation.
Here are my questions.

  1. Is it the heat of the water or the agitation that causes the felting?
  2. Can a peice be felted without such drastic shrinkage?
  3. would a cold wash have caused the same amount of shrinkage?
    4 Can a shrunk felted peice be streched back out to any usable degree?

Thank you for whatever help you can give.

Typically if you know you are going to felt something you want to knit a square and see how much it shrinks when you felt it - and when planning to felt knit on needles 2 sizes larger than the pattern calls for.

My understanding is that it is both the hot water and aggitation that cause the felting. I usually stand guard at the washing machine and pull my project out every few minutes to see how it is felting.

I have stretched things a little while wet, but you will not see a dramatic change is size that way.

It takes a few projects to get the hang of felting, but once you do it’s great fun. best of luck

Basically you have to be diligent and check the item being felted OFTEN while it’s in the washer. I mean every couple of minutes… sometimes.

Some yarn felts quickly and some will take 30 minutes to felt enough. I checked one project and it was felted as much as it needed to be felted in 3 minutes. You just never know how a yarn is going to behave. (respond to the felting process that is)